Don’t bother to bid, Tor­res is not for sale... at any price – Chelsea

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Span­ish striker Fer­nando Tor­res is “not for sale at any price”, says Chelsea man­ager An­dre Vil­las-boas.

The 27- year- old Spain in­ter­na­tional joined Chelsea from Liver­pool for a Bri­tish trans­fer record fee of £50 mil­lion last Jan­uary, but has en­dured a for­get­table year at Stam­ford Bridge.

He has scored only five goals in 35 ap­pear­ances, played poorly most of the time and has started only one of Chelsea’s last seven matches in all com­pe­ti­tions.

He was an unused sub­sti­tute in Mon­day’s 2-1 win over pre­vi­ously un­beaten Premier League lead­ers Manch­ester City and only came on for the last 13 min­utes of Chelsea’s Cham­pi­ons League win over Va­len­cia on De­cem­ber 6.

As a re­sult he has been widely linked with a move away from Stam­ford Bridge for a cut-price £20m fee in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow, but Vil­las-boas told re­porters at Chelsea’s train­ing ground he was not for sale.

“It is true: Fer­nando Tor­res is not for sale at any price, not now or in the sum­mer,” said Vil­las-boas ahead of to day’s Premier League clash with Wi­gan Ath­letic.

“We are pretty sure when Fer­nando is called up he will re­spond with the qual­ity and tal­ent he has. We have to make the best de­ci­sions for the team.”

The Por­tuguese also gave un­set­tled Eng­land mid­fielder Frank Lam­pard, who like Tor­res has lost his place in the start­ing line-up, a boost.

The 33-year-old Lam­pard, who has been at Chelsea for 10 years and made over 500 ap­pear­ances for the club, came off the bench to score the win­ner from the penalty spot against City on Mon­day, but has been re­cently side­lined while Vil­las-boas has played Raul Meire­les and 20-year-old Oriol Romeu in mid­field.

“Frank Lam­pard is a player of mas­sive mag­ni­tude to this club,” Vil­las- Boas en­thused. “I think ‘Lamps’ is one of the top five play­ers most used. Ev­ery player wants to be in­volved in ev­ery game but some­times it’s just not pos­si­ble. – Reuters

RARE BREED: Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are in the mi­nor­ity when it comes to English­men play­ing in the Premier League.

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